Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjsk Sveindr 1I/2 — ǫðlings ‘of the Lord’

Opt með œrnri giptu
ǫðlings himins rǫðla
Jóta gramr inn ítri
Englandi rauð branda.

Inn ítri gramr Jóta rauð branda opt Englandi með œrnri giptu ǫðlings rǫðla himins.

The splendid ruler of the Jótar [DANISH KING = Sveinn] reddened blades often in England with ample luck of the Lord of the discs of the sky [HEAVENLY BODIES > = God].


[2] ǫðlings: ǫðling 4867ˣ


[2] ǫðlings rǫðla himins ‘of the Lord of the discs of the sky [HEAVENLY BODIES > = God]’: The kenning rǫðla himins is at first sight unsatisfactory, since rǫðull can itself mean ‘sun’ or (in pl.) ‘heavenly bodies’, but rǫðull may have the more specific meaning ‘disc, circle’, deriving from its etymological links with words denoting circular objects (AEW: rǫðull 1). Fidjestøl (1982, 102) thinks this kenning seems young, and it is true that non-mythological kennings for the heavenly bodies (including some using hvél ‘wheel’ as base-word) are more frequent in late, especially Christian, poetry (Meissner 103-4, 378-82), though it is possible that the present stanza is an early instance of this trend.




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